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peror Charles the Fifth to the loyal and noble city, and surmounted by the Apostle St. James on horseback, armed, and brandishing a sword; and the majestic but roofless and ruined cathedral, three hundred feet long, one hundred and twenty broad, nearly seventy high, and lighted by fifty windows, show at this day that La Antigua was once one of the finest cities of the New World, deserving the proud name which Alvarado gave it, the city of St. James of Gentlemen. This was the second capital of Guatimala, founded in 1542 on account of the destruction of the first by a water volcano. Its history is one of uninterrupted disasters. “In 1558 an epidemic disorder, attended with a violent bleeding at the nose, swept away great numbers of people ; nor could the faculty devise any method to arrest the progress of the distemper. Many severe shocks of earthquake were felt at different periods; the one in 1565 seriously damaged many of the principal buildings; those of 1575, 76, and 77 were not less ruinous. On the 27th of December, 1581, the population was again alarmed by the volcano, which began to emit fire; and so great was the quantity of ashes thrown out and spread in the air, that the sun was entirely obscured, and artificial light was necessary in the city at midday.” “The years 1585 and 6 were dreadful in the extreme. On January 16th of the former, earthquakes were felt, and they continued through that and the following year so frequently, that not an interval of eight days elapsed during the whole period without a shock more or less violent. Fire issued incessantly, for months together, from the mountain, and greatly increased the general consternation. The greatest damage of this series took place on the 23d of December, 1586, when the major part of the city again became heap of ruins, burying under them many of the unfortunate inhabitants; the earth shook with such violence that the tops of the high ridges were torn off, and deep chasms formed in various parts of the level ground. “In 1601 a pestilential distemper carried off great numbers. It raged with so much malignity that three days generally terminated the existence of such as were affected by it.” “On the 18th of February, 1651, about one o'clock, afternoon, a most extraordinary subterranean noise was heard, and immediately followed by three violent shocks, at very short intervals from each other, which threw down many buildings and damaged others; the tiles from the roofs of the houses were dispersed in all directions, like light straws by a gust of wind ; the bells of the churches were rung by the vibrations; masses of rock were detached from the mountains; and even the wild beasts were so terrified, that, losing their natural instinct, they quitted their retreats, and sought shelter from the habitations of men.” “The year 1686 brought with it another dreadful epidemic, which in three months swept away a tenth part of the inhabitants.” ... “From the capital the pestilence spread to the neighbouring villages, and thence to the more remote ones, causing dreadful havoc, particularly among the most robust of the inhabitants.” “The year 1717 was memorable; on the night of August 27th the mountain began to emit flames, attended by a continued subterranean rumbling noise. On the night of the 28th the eruption increased to great violence, and very much alarmed the inhabitants. The images of saints were carried in procession, public prayers were put up, day after day; but the terrifying

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eruption still continued, and was followed by frequent shocks, at intervals, for more than four months. At last, on the night of September 29th, the fate of Guatimala appeared to be decided, and inevitable destruction seemed to be at hand. Great was the ruin among the public edifices; many of the houses were thrown down, and nearly all that remained were dreadfully injured; but the greatest devastation was seen in the churches.” “The year 1773 was the most melancholy epoch in the annals of this metropolis; it was then destroyed, and, as the capital, rose no more from its ruins.”... “About four o'clock, on the afternoon of July 29, a tremendous vibration was felt, and shortly after began the dreadful convulsion that decided the fate of the unfortunate city.”... “On the 7th September there was another, which threw down most of the buildings that were damaged on the 29th of July; and on the 13th December, one still more violent terminated the work of destruction.” . . . “The people had not well recovered from the consternation inflicted by the events of the fatal 29th of July, when a meeting was convoked for the purpose of collecting the sense of the inhabitants on the subject of the removal.” ... “In this meeting it was determined all the public authorities should remove provisionally to the little village of La Hermita, until the valleys of Jalapa and Las Vacas could be surveyed, and until the king's pleasure could be ascertained on the subject.”... “On the 6th of September the governor and all the tribunals withdrew to La Hermita; the surveys of the last-mentioned places being completed, the inhabitants were again convoked, to decide upon the transfer. This congress was held in the temporary capital, and lasted from the 12th to the 16th of January, 1774: the report of the commissioners was read, and, by a plurality of votes, it was resolved to make a formal translation of the city of Guatimala to the Valley of Las Vacas. The king gave his assent to this resolution on the 21st of July, 1775; and, by a decree of the 21st of September following, approved most of the plans that were proposed for carrying the determination into effect; granting very liberally the whole revenue arising from the customs, for the space of ten years, toward the charges of building, &c. In virtue of this decree, the ayuntamiento was in due form established in the new situation on the 1st of January, 1776; and on the 29th of July, 1777, a proclamation was issued in Old Guatimala, commanding the population to remove to the new city within one year, and totally abandon the remains of the old one.” Such is the account given by the historian of Guatimala concerning the destruction of this city; besides which, I saw on the spot Padre Antonio Croques, an octogenarian, and the oldest canonigo in Guatimala, who was living in the city during the earthquake which completed its destruction. He was still vigorous in frame and intellect, wrote his name with a free hand in my memorandum-book, and had vivid recollections of the splendour of the city in his boyhood, when, as he said, carriages rolled through it as in the streets of Madrid. On the fatal day he was in the Church of San Francisco with two padres, one of whom, at the moment of the shock, took him by the hand and hurried him into the patio; the other was buried under the ruins of the church. He remembered that the tiles flew from the roofs of the houses in every direction ; the clouds of dust were suffocating, and the people ran to the fountains to quench their thirst. The fountains

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were broken, and one man snatched off his hat to dip for water. The archbishop slept that night in his carriage in the plaza. He described to me the ruins of individual buildings, the dead who were dug from under them, and the confusion and terror of the inhabitants; and though his recollections were only those of a boy, he had material enough for hours of conversation. In company with the cura we visited the interior of the Cathedral. The gigantic walls were standing, but roofless; the interior was occupied as a buryingground, and the graves were shaded by a forest of dahlias and trees seventy or eighty feet high, rising above the walls. The grand altar stood under a cupola supported by sixteen columns faced with tortoiseshell, and adorned with bronze medallions of exquisite workmanship. On the cornice were once placed statues of the Virgin and the twelve apostles in ivory; but all these are gone ; and more interesting than the recollections of its ancient splendour or its mournful ruins was the empty vault where once reposed the ashes of Alvarado the Conqueror. Toward evening my young companion joined me, and we set out for Santa Maria, an Indian village at two leagues' distance, situated on the side of the Volcano de Agua, with the intention of ascending the next day to the summit. As we entered the valley, the scene was so beautiful I did not wonder that even earthquakes could not make it desolate. At the distance of a league we reached the village of San Juan Obispo, the church and convent of which are conspicuous from below, and command a magnificent view of the valley and city of the Antigua. At dark we reached the village of Santa Maria, perched at a height of two thousand feet above the Antigua, and seven thousand feet

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